SOURCE: American Academy of Ophthalmology

American Academy of Ophthalmology

September 17, 2010 11:00 ET

Congresswoman Linda Sanchez Offers Important Eye Health Message to Latinos in Honor of Hispanic Heritage Month

New PSAs Urge Those Living With Diabetes to Get Annual Dilated Eye Exams

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - September 17, 2010) -  There is a lot to celebrate during Hispanic Heritage Month this September. Unfortunately for many Latinos, the celebration has been darkened by vision loss from diabetes. In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-CA) has an important message for the Latino community. She is urging Latinos to get an annual diabetic eye exam as this can prevent vision loss from diabetes. The message, released in a new public service announcement produced in conjunction with the American Academy of Ophthalmology's EyeSmart campaign and EyeCare America, was recorded in both Spanish and English and will air on several television stations across the U.S.

"If you're living with diabetes, it's vitally important to get a diabetic eye exam every year, because once your vision is gone, it won't come back," said Representative Sanchez.

Last year alone, 24,000 Americans were permanently blinded as a result of diabetes and the latest research indicates Latinos face a greater risk of blindness than other ethnic groups. The good news is 90 percent of diabetic eye disease can be prevented by getting regular eye examinations and proper treatment and by controlling blood sugar.

 The English version Congresswoman's 30-second PSA can be viewed here. You can view the Spanish version here. The public can visit and commit to taking control of their diabetes and protecting their vision.

To find an Eye M.D. in your area, please visit Consumers can submit questions about eye health to an ophthalmologist at

NOTE TO EDITORS AND PRODUCERS: 30-second PSA and interviews with clinical correspondents available upon request.

About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons -- Eye M.D.s -- with more than 29,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the three "O's" -- opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologists. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who can treat it all: eye diseases and injuries, and perform eye surgery. For more information, visit the Academy's Web site at

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